Cullen Diesel Chooses An UNDERHOOD™ Van Series Air Compressor

Welcome to the second installment of VMAC’s three-part blog series centered around Cullen Diesel, the Detroit Diesel and MTU distributor for BC. Cullen Diesel mechanics are factory trained and certified in Detroit Diesel and Mercedes engines, and often work in challenging and remote locations in the logging, marine, mining, and industrial sectors.

Dennis Miskow

Dennis Miskow, Branch Manager of Cullen Diesel’s Vancouver Island, BC

Dennis Miskow, Branch Manager of Cullen Diesel’s Vancouver Island, BC operations took some time to speak with VMAC about Cullen’s fleet, and his decision to choose a Mercedes-Benz 4×4 Sprinter in Part 1 of the Van Series Air Compressor blog. In Part 2 of the series, Dennis explains why he chose an UNDERHOOD™ 40 Van Series Air Compressor instead of a gas drive air compressor, what he likes about the UNDERHOOD™, and his advice to anyone considering an UNDERHOOD™ for their commercial van upfit.

Selecting A Van Air Compressor: UNDERHOOD™ or Gas Drive?

When it was time to upgrade an aging service truck, Dennis Miskow ended up choosing a Mercedes-Benz 4×4 Sprinter van. Next, he planned the upfit with Sterling Fleet Outfitters, a commercial van and truck equipment upfit company. Dennis was pleased to find this upfitter was very experienced in cargo van upfits and had plenty of options specifically designed for Cullen’s Sprinter van. When it came time to choose the air compressor, Dennis took the time to reflect on the performance of Cullen Diesel’s current gas drive air compressor.

“We knew that the gas drive had lots of problems. It was bulky, it was space-sucking, it was dirty, and we had to fix it constantly,” explains Dennis. “We were so used to it, we just accepted that it was a high-maintenance piece of equipment that we had to deal with.”

Unfortunately, these problems are not uncommon for many mobile mechanics. However, with the surge in popularity of commercial vans comes an increase in the development of specialized equipment, like the UNDERHOOD™ 40 Van Series Air Compressor, the only air compressor that has been specifically engineered for commercial vans. The placement within the engine compartment saves space in the cargo area and solves common safety issues, like toxic fume exposure and risk of gas fires, faced by many operators with standalone gas air compressors installed in the cargo area. With the UNDERHOOD™ 40, the only space required in the cargo area is 1.7 cubic feet for a combined air/oil cooler and air/oil separator tank.

“My mechanic specifically asked for an UNDERHOOD™ Air Compressor for the van,” said Dennis. “Because we’d been experiencing problems with our older gas drive air compressor, I was happy to get him what he was asking for.”

Dennis worked with VMAC National Sales Representative Darren Darnley to get the Cullen Diesel Mercedes-Benz 4×4 Sprinter van upfitted with the UNDERHOOD™ 40 Van Series. “Darren was great to work with. He was the point-person, and he gave the same high level of service we would give to our customers,” notes Dennis.

UNDERHOOD for vansLike with any investment in new equipment, Dennis did have some concerns, mainly about cost. “The Van Series Air Compressor is more expensive than a gas drive air compressor, and I also wondered if the UNDERHOOD™ was too much power for our applications, as it’s rated for up to 40 CFM.” However, once the UNDERHOOD™ was installed on the van and his mechanics were using it, he had no more doubts.

UNDERHOOD™ 40 Van Series Air Compressor Benefits

After having the UNDERHOOD™ 40 Van Series Air Compressor for three years, it’s easy for Dennis to list his top three benefits of this air compressor:

  • Space Savings
    • “Having the air compressor under the hood saves space inside the van, and gives it a clean, open look. There’s less clutter inside.”
  • Quieter Operation
    • “We don’t have a noisy air compressor on a truck right at ear level anymore.”
  • Professionalism
    • “Having the van’s equipment and tools organized gives it a clean, professional look. Having the VMAC air compressor tucked away under the hood is part of the professional look we’re going for, and it feels like one less thing to worry about.”

As Dennis mentioned in Part 1 of the blog series, adding another commercial van to the Cullen Diesel fleet is in the plan. “I want to get another van, and when we do, it absolutely will have another UNDERHOOD™ 40 Air Compressor on it,” says Dennis.

Subscribe to the VMAC Blog to continue reading about Cullen Diesel’s experience with a service van, and the specialized equipment it comes with. In part three of the series, which will be released next, Dennis will share what a typical service job with Cullen Diesel entails, and how the UNDERHOOD™ 40 Van Series Air Compressor is enabling his mechanics to work more efficiently. You can also go back to read part 1 of the series: Cullen Diesel Chooses Mercedes-Benz 4X4 Sprinter Van Over Service Truck.

 

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Cullen Diesel Chooses Mercedes-Benz 4×4 Sprinter Van Over Service Truck

Over the next few weeks we’ll be publishing a three-part blog series centered around Cullen Diesel, the Detroit Diesel and MTU distributor for BC. Cullen Diesel mechanics are factory trained and certified in Detroit Diesel and Mercedes engines, with experience in working with all types of diesel engines, including those in the marine, mining, construction and industrial sectors.

Dennis Miskow Cullen Diesel

Dennis Miskow, Branch Manager of Cullen Diesel’s Vancouver Island, BC operations

Dennis Miskow is the Branch Manager of Cullen Diesel’s Vancouver Island, BC operations. Dennis’ career with Cullen started over 20 years ago, when he was first hired as an apprentice heavy-duty mechanic. Dennis sat down with VMAC to discuss Cullen’s fleet, and his decision to add a commercial van to his fleet.

Choosing the Right Vehicle for Your Business: Commercial Van or Service Truck?

When it was time to add a new service vehicle to his fleet of 7 to replace an aging truck, Dennis went straight to his truck builder. “I spec’d out a truck with a crane and was ready to place the order. It was going to cost about $150k, so I decided to compare it to the cost of a commercial van. The van ended up being half the price.” Because of the significant savings, Dennis decided to explore commercial van options. “We chose the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter over the other vans because the Sprinter comes in a 4×4 option, which is necessary when we’re travelling to jobs in remote locations,” says Dennis.

Service Van Benefits

Cullen Service VanThough the additional draw to the service van option was cost, Dennis was aware of other benefits that come with having a van instead of a truck. “The van is a smaller vehicle, which makes it easier to drive and maneuver. We do service jobs right at the docks, so the van is the best option for driving to these marine applications,” notes Dennis. The Cullen Diesel Branch Manager also appreciates the extra level of protection from theft and the elements the enclosed space of the van offers: “Tools and equipment are kept safe inside the van from theft, but also from rain, sleet, ice, and snow. My team also appreciates the enclosed area to store and organize their tools instead of standing around the outside of the truck in all types of weather.” In addition to the cost, size and maneuverability, and enclosed protection from theft and the weather, the van acts as a moving billboard for Cullen as there’s much more advertising space on the van’s body.

Proven in Challenging Applications

UNDERHOOD for vansHaving never had a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or any type of service van on his fleet before, Dennis did have some concerns about how it would hold up in challenging applications. Cullen Diesel services a lot of equipment found in remote areas, often requiring their vehicles to travel in mountainous areas up logging roads. “I wasn’t sure how the van would be able to make it up the logging roads, even though the Sprinter is a 4×4. But on its first service it drove easily up to the job site, right behind the trucks. Even our logging customers were impressed!” shares Dennis. Another concern was how long the Sprinter van would hold up in these challenging, dirty and demanding applications. “You see a lot of vans used as delivery vehicles, driving on the roads, but we weren’t sure how it would hold up after continuously being tested on trails and logging roads,” says Dennis. But fast forward to years later, and Dennis confirms he no longer has any worries: “It’s been three years and we haven’t had any problems with the van.”

Overall, the decision to add a commercial van to the Cullen Diesel fleet has had a positive impact on Dennis’ operations. “We’re looking to add another vehicle to the fleet and I want to get another van,” says Dennis.

Subscribe to the VMAC Blog to continue reading about Cullen Diesel’s experience with a service van, and the specialized equipment that it comes with. In part two of this series, which will be released next, Dennis will give insight into his decision to choose an UNDERHOOD™ 40 Van Series Air Compressor instead of a standalone gas drive air compressor for his Sprinter.

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Kal Tire Tests VMAC’s Gas Engine Driven Air Compressor Powered by Honda

G30 Gas Driven Air CompressorG30 Gas Driven Air Compressor MountedFounded in 1953, Kal Tire is Canada’s largest independent tire dealer and tire services provider with over 250 stores. It is also a global leader in mining tire services with 150 international mine sites. The company’s success can be attributed to several guiding principles, which Kal Tire refers to as The Aims. By fulfilling The Aims, each of Kal Tire’s 5,600 employees is personally contributing to the overall success and safety of each customer, guest, and team member.

As the Assistant Manager of one of Kal Tire’s British Columbia stores, Chris Binks oversees the success of the store’s operations, which includes fulfilling the Kal Tire Aims, and empowering his team members to do the same. Two important Kal Tire Aims include “earning the trust of our customers by providing them with a level of quality and value of both service and products that exceeds their expectations…” and “build long-term relationships with our suppliers based on competitiveness, value, and mutual respect of objectives.” This is where Kal Tire’s supplier of air compressors, VMAC, comes in.

VMAC is the leader in compressed air innovation®, designing and manufacturing the most innovative mobile air compressors and multi-power systems available. Kal Tire’s service trucks are predominantly outfitted with UNDERHOOD™ air compressors, but they also have a VMAC Gas Driven Air Compressor on one of their service trucks. This rotary screw air compressor delivers 30 CFM at 100% duty cycle, and does not require a bulky air receiver tank to be added to the service truck. Chris knows that his technicians appreciate the convenience of having full air power on demand, minimizing downtime, and customers appreciate how quickly jobs can be completed. The Gas Engine Driven Air Compressor (G30) is also 50% lighter and smaller than the average 22-30 CFM gas drive air compressor with a 30-gallon air receiver tank. The compact and lightweight compressor means big benefits for Chris’ fleet with more available space in the back of the service truck.

G30 gas air compressor banner

For Chris, the main benefits to the VMAC Gas Engine Driven Air Compressor are the improvements to his team’s workflow. “There’s zero lag on air tools under high demand,” notes Chris, who says jobs are finished faster than ever before. Chris also appreciates the “excellent technical support” that VMAC provides to their dealer network and users, to ensure operators can get the tech support they need while on the clock.

G30 Gas Driven Air CompressorThe benefits associated with the VMAC Gas Driven Air Compressor have alleviated common pain points that many operators suffer from, including time wasted waiting for air and equipment downtime, but for Chris at Kal Tire, it’s hard to remember a time before using VMAC air compressors to complete their tire services. “We’ve been using VMAC for so long that old issues have been forgotten,” says Chris, who appreciates knowing his team can rely on their VMAC G30 Gas Engine Driven Air Compressor to get the job done and fulfil The Aims of quality service and exceeding customers’ expectations.

This story was originally published in Heavy Equipment Guide’s January 2018 issue.

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